Skip to main content

Reply to this post | See parent post | Go Back
View Post [edit]

Poster: grendelschoice Date: Mar 30, 2007 5:25am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trails from the Blotter: The Grateful Range

It was Hornsby himself who said the Dead's philosophy was "why play one note when you can play 5?" He meant this as a testament to the Dead's ambitions playing live but also as a source of frustration for him that made it very difficult to play live with them. Hornsby is a wonderful musician who loved the Dead's music, and he was fun to see w/the band towards the end but I would agree w/the assesment that he never really fit in, and always sounded very much like a 'special guest star'.

Vinny was a too-quick hire. Nothing against him at all, but also not a good fit.

Still, when it comes to post-Brent Dead, I think talking about Vinny and Bruce completely misses the far more salient point:

It was the rest of the band that was out of sorts.

Especially vocally. I mean, any show post 1990 features an incredibly weak-voiced Jerry that's just so painful to listen to. The guy simply can't carry even the easiest of notes anymore, he sounds and looks tired, and the rest of the band isn't far behind because of it.

Yes, yes, yes, there ARE flashes of brilliance, as there always are in even the band's worst of times (see 1986)...but even Bobby is sounding dead tired post '90...I just recently listened to this incredible SUPPLICATION JAM from, I think, 3-24-95, and it really was terrific...better still it segues into ESAU, and I thought, oh man, this is just amazing, this is gonna be great---and then Bobby starts to sing and it sounds like he's got a cat stuck in his throat. Just barely got through the song, and really, I think they could have had any keyboardist in the hot seat after 1990 and it wouldn't have mettered.

Too much touring, too many idiot fans crashing gates, too much, too much, too much for a group of guys who , let's face it, were not kids anymore, and just could not sustain the kind of grinding tour machine they were expected to year in and year out.

That really is the biggest problem about post-Brent Dead....not the loss of Brent, but time and strain catching up with the band as a whole.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: tree-ap Date: Mar 30, 2007 10:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trails from the Blotter: The Grateful Range

Agreeing with most of you here, Vince was just here to fill the empty chair, and Bruce was just a "guest star" @ all the shows he did with the GD. The band was tired, and it was getting harder & harder for them to keep up the grinding machine that The Grateful Dead became. The largest venues they could find were selling out, & there were STILL too many people outside the gates with nothing better to do than party (or who were there to do nothing BUT party). While I will never say that I didn't enjoy the party aspect of going to shows, I was there for music ultimately.

I've said before that I think they would've taken another "retirement" after '95 had Jerry not died then. They may have had a fall tour after all the terrible shit that went down in the summer, but I think it would have been prefaced with the anouncement that they were taking time off---indefinitely. Taking a year or two & coming back for a Fall tour in '98, or Spring tour in '99 might've helped Jerry kick his habit for awhile, and thinned out the crowds enough to push on for maybe another few years. Then I think tours would be shorter, and only maybe twice a year. Any way you look at it, the end came as it came which is a shame considering the events leading up to Brent's & Jerry's deaths. Anyone remember Pittsburgh in '89 (I think it was Pitt?) and the "riots" where so many people were pummelled by the pigs, and it was flashed on the evening news all across the country about the deadheads & their unruliness? Camping & vending was officially disallowed, then the next Summer Brent died---the real beginning of the end. Then the summer of '95, and we all remember how bad that was.

Back to Vince & Bruce though---yes, there were moments of magic, BUT, The Grateful Dead had basically lost it's boiler, thus NO STEAM...

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: grendelschoice Date: Mar 30, 2007 1:40pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trails from the Blotter: The Grateful Range

Tree-ap

totally agree w/your "what-if" scenario...i often wonder if they could somehow have just scaled back the constant touring, played only a few select times a year for the right audiences, what might have been...

sadly, from what i've heard, they were supporting so many people financially by the 90's that they HAD to keep touring, but it sure did take its toll.